Say GDP-aaaR: UK's Information Commissioner pours £275k fine into London pharmacy's teaspoon

Half a million docs, including patient names and medical records left at back of premises

A pharmacy that left around half a million documents, including customers' personal information and medical data, in unlocked storage at the back of its premises, has been fined £275,000 - a financial penalty the ICO has issued under the General Data Protection Regulation.

UK data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, said London-based Doorstep Dispensaree Ltd, which supplies medicines to both individual customers and care homes, failed to secure the records. The data also contained addresses, dates of birth, NHS numbers and prescriptions pertaining to an unknown number of people.

Some of the documents – dated between June 2016 to June 2018 – were exposed to the elements and as a result were damaged by rain water, the ICO claimed.

Failing to process the data in a secure state to prevent unauthorised or unlawful access, loss, destruction or damage infringed GDPR, said the ICO. This was factored into the size of financial penalty, which the watchdog claimed was its first since the introduction of GDPR on 25 May 2018.

fearful man

GDPR: Four letters that put fear into firms' hearts in 2018


Steve Eckersley, director of investigations at the ICO issued a statement:

“The careless way Doorstep Dispensaree stored special category data failed to protect it from accidental damage or loss. This falls short of what the law expects and it falls short of what people expect.”

The ICO was tipped to the shoddy physical security of the documents by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which was undertaking its own enquiry into the pharmacy.

In addition to the £275k fine, Doorstep Dispensaree has been issued with an enforcement notice (PDF) to up its data protection processes within three months or face further enforcement action.

Come Jan 31, if the UK leaves the EU as planned, Brexit will trigger a statutory instrument that changes some text to create a "UK GDPR". The little kingdom's Data Protection Act 2018 will also get tweaked. You can see the expected changes here. ®

Tech Resources

The State of Application Security 2020

Forrester analyzed the state of application security in 2020 and found over 75% of external attacks are attributed to web application and software exploits.

How backup modernization changes the ransomware game

If the thrill of backing up your data and wondering if you will ever see it again has worn off, start the new year by getting rid of the lingering pain of legacy backup. Bipul Sinha, CEO of the Cloud Data Management Company, Rubrik, and Miguel Zatarain, Director of Global Infrastructure Technology at PACCAR, Fortune 500 manufacturer of trucks and Rubrik customer, are talking to the Reg’s Tim Phillips about how to eliminate the costly, slow and spotty performance of legacy backup, and how to modernize your implementation in 2021 to make your business more resilient.

Webcast Slide Deck | Three reasons you need a hybrid multicloud

Businesses need their IT teams to operate applications and data in a hybrid environment spanning on-premises private and public clouds. But this poses many challenges, such as managing complex networking, re-architecting applications for the cloud, and managing multiple infrastructure silos. There is a pressing need for a single platform that addresses these challenges - a hybrid multicloud built for the digital innovation era. Just this Regcast to find out: Why hybrid multicloud is the ideal path to accelerate cloud migration.

Anatomy of a Private Cloud

Learn the key elements that combined, build a true Private Cloud

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021